Fantastic Fest is Drawing Near at the Alamo Drafthouse

Fantastic Fest returns and this time at the new Alamo Drafthouse Lakeline theater, the largest one to date. Fantastic Fest dates are September 19th –  26th in Austin, Texas, so make your plans to attend as soon as possible.

FantasticFest Poster 2013

The Fantastic Fest Poster for 2013 is by artist Johnny Sampson

Machete Kills red letters [poster on IMDb 5.30.2013]

Robert Rodriguez’s Machete Kills will have its world premiere on September 19, 2013 as the opening night film for the 2013 festival, with talent from the film in attendance, including Danny Trejo, Alexa Vega and Robert Rodriguez. Additional talent is to be confirmed closer to festival.

“Every year we compile our dream targets for opening night film; MACHETE KILLS was at the top of that list,” said Fantastic Fest Co-founder & Creative Director Tim League. “We are going to pull out all the stops to ensure Robert’s world premiere red carpet experience is literally blood red.”

Rob Rod [solo] 5.30.2013

Photo of Robert Rodriguez in Austin at another film event this year – By Liz Lopez

“Fantastic Fest has quickly become the best place for fans to first experience the newest and coolest genre movies and blockbusters,” said director Robert Rodriguez. “I am honored and extremely excited for Machete Kills to have its world premiere right here in Austin and kick off Fantastic Fest.”

For the latest developments, tickets and badges, visit the Fantastic Fest official site  www.fantasticfest.com and follow them on Facebook & Twitter.

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The World’s End in Theaters Starting this Evening in Austin

When I first saw writer/director Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg’s comedies, Shaun of the Dead (2004) and Hot Fuzz (2007), both starring Pegg and Nick Frost, I never dreamed of having the opportunity to meet the filmmakers and actors for the third installment of Wright’s trilogy, The World’s End. It happened recently and it is a most memorable interview opportunity!

The Worlds End poster on Santikos [139713h1]

Wright, Pegg and Frost were in Austin for the press tour of the highly anticipated film, as well as participants in the grand opening week signature programming events of the Alamo Drafthouse Lakeline earlier this summer.

Alamo Drafthouse LakelinePhoto from the Q&A [L-R] Tim League, with Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost – Photo Credit: Jack Plunkett

I was not the only one excited about Wright’s film that reteams him with his Spaced/Shaun of the Dead/Hot Fuzz collaborators, Frost and Pegg. Alamo Drafthouse and Badass Digest’s new monthly magazine, BIRTH. MOVIES. DEATH. is also so excited about The World’s End, the whole second issue is centered around it. In The World’s End, a group of friends attempt to visit twelve pubs in their former hometown in one night, while a strange and mysterious invasion occurs around them.

BMD_Issue2_August2013_COVER-1Alamo Drafthouse and Badass Digest’s BIRTH. MOVIES. DEATH. August magazine cover  

The Wright films are known as the Blood and Ice Cream trilogy (also known as the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy because each film features a double scoop of blood and ice cream. Specifically, there is a different flavor of Cornetto – a tasty frozen treat famous in the UK (the equivalent of our Good Humor King Cone) – that represents the theme of each film (red-strawberry for zombie gore, blue original for police action and mint choc-chip for alien invasion).

The writing is great, the ensemble performances are hilarious with the fabulous cast and the music is an added treat to add to the scenes of five childhood friends reuniting 20 years after they left high school. Wright discussed the process of selection of music as a filmmaker, stating there was “a long playlist early on,” in order to determine what song lyrics would work. I do not have a copy of the soundtrack, but would love one based on the music I heard during the film.

Of course, the drinking feat is not conceived by any of the friends who have gone on to live the lives they have shaped for themselves and away from each other. Nope, the epic event is planned by 40-year-old Gary King (Pegg); the one who remains in a time warp of his youth. Although the gents agree to meet for this drinking marathon, they all discover so much more about each other and the world as it is evolving all around them, while they struggle to reach The World’s End pub.

Alamo Drafthouse Lakeline

Photo from the Q&A [L-R] Simon Pegg and Nick Frost – Photo Credit: Jack Plunkett

During the interview with the actors, I posed a question about challenges they faced in the production and if there was at least one that stood out the most. Pegg quickly responded, “I broke my hand,” adding this happened despite the physical training he had received for the fight scenes. Frost then added that he was “lucky” and did not sustain any injuries. He explained that he had done a dance film for seven months and had only one week in between starting work for this film, so the dancing was helpful. “It was like a dream to do this; but people don’t realize there are 14 to 15 hour days and we have to be fit.”

The World’s End is worth the wait and now is the time to get to the theater to view it. The World’s End opens nationwide on Friday, August 23rd. In Austin, screenings are available tonight in a few theaters, so check your local listings.

Liz Lopez

Rating B+

Source: Focus Features, Alamo Drafthouse

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ARTS IN CONTEXT TONIGHT! 7:30pm on KLRU-TV, Channel 9 on Time Warner Cable

ARTS IN CONTEXT is a show on our local PBS affiliate that explores “the process of creation through collaboration and the condition of living and working as an artist. By spotlighting visual arts, dance, music and culture, [they] hope to pique curiosity and inspire people to learn more about a subject, visit an exhibition, attend a performance or create and share something beautiful of their own and facilitate the dialogue between artists and audiences.”
And guess what film festival they’re featuring in Thursday’s episode, titled “All My Friends Are Vampires”?
That’s right! Fantastic Fest will be in the spotlight Thursday night at 7:30pm CT, as Fantastic Fest co-founder and creative director Tim League stops by to discuss the ins and outs of that cherished FF chaos.
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